Anförande av Isabella Lövin vid FN:s världskonferens om katastrofer i Sendai

UN 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Sendai 16 mars 2015
Det talade ordet gäller.

Madame Chairperson,
Your Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be here in Sendai today at this important 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, and I would like to thank the Japanese government for hosting.

What is disaster risk reduction about?
Disaster risk reduction is about protecting human lives.
It is about protecting villages and cities, schools and property, businesses and livelihoods. Today and in the future. It is about understanding and respecting the forces of nature. DRR is actually also thinking about future generations.

It is therefore very timely that this conference take place at this moment in time. Firstly because we know much more about how to reduce risk successfully today than ten or fifteen years ago. DRR is now firmly on the political radar, and it is recognised as being closely linked to development. It is clear that the Hyogo Framework of Action has contributed greatly to this.

But we also face new challenges today, which require a renewed commitment to DRR. We know that disaster risk is increasing in the world. Poverty, urbanisation, and climate change – these factors are leaving people and communities ever more exposed. We know that the last 10 years have seen some of the largest disasters on record.

Secondly because 2015 is the year of thinking and planning for the future. We have major summits coming up in Addis Ababa, New York and Paris, which will all have a profound influence on our future.

We all know disasters put hard-won development achievements at risk. They reverse economic growth and the progress we have made in eliminating poverty. Sadly, climate change will make things worse. Wet seasons are getting wetter, dry seasons drier. Hurricanes and other extreme events are getting more frequent and intense. And waiting in the wings is the peril of sea level rise. Climate-related disasters now account for the vast majority of all disaster events, and they contribute enormously to economic losses and population displacement.

With everything we know, we have a golden opportunity this year to establish a broad framework where DRR, the new development agenda, including the FFD conference, and the climate treaty can form mutually reinforcing parts of a sustainable, resilient whole.

Sweden is convinced that the new DRR framework will help us all move forward with disaster risk reduction.

We stand ready to continue working together with all States and other stakeholders to establish the new Framework. We all have a shared responsibility to contribute.

We see prevention as one of the keys to disaster risk reduction. Climate change and the loss of biodiversity must be halted. The loss of forests, wetlands and coastal areas with mangroves and coral reefs have direct implications for risk – they weaken nature’s ability to withstand extreme weather events. We need to strengthen the protection of ecosystems and more clearly see the services they provide. We need to invest more in environmental and climate resilience.

We also see a need to see the growing inequality of risk exposure. According to UNDP’s latest Human Development Report, 98 per cent of those who are affected by or die from natural disasters live in developing countries. Developed countries are not spared disasters and extreme weather, but as so often, the poor and the vulnerable are hit the hardest.

Moreover, we believe that a consistent gender perspective should be applied, when it comes to both the understanding of risk factors and concrete action. Women’s participation is critical in designing and implementing disaster risk reduction programmes. We would like to see this reflected in the political declaration of the Sendai meeting.

We believe that the use of targets and indicators that are neither too complicated, nor too many, will be of great help. Designated Focal Points and National Platforms are key, as are the existing mechanisms for evaluation and follow-up, such as the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the quadrennial comprehensive policy review for monitoring and follow-up of the new framework.

Ladies and gentlemen,

2015 is the year of possibilities of our generation. The decisions we make this year will shape the course of the world for a long time. Here in Sendai, we are called upon to take the first, crucial step. Let’s put suspicion aside and stop regarding each other as two opposing teams where one can win over the other. Only together we can make this year the success it has the potential to be. Only together we can start the course towards a new world working together in respect, unity and solidarity.
If we miss this chance – no one will win!

Thank you.